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October 14, 1983 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-10-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

24 Friday, October 14, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

`Trial' for 12-Year Refusnik losif Begun Scheduled This Week

NEW YORK (JTA)
The trial of 51-year-old
Moscow Hebrew teacher
Iosif Begun was scheduled
to begin yesterday, accord-
ing to information made av-
ailable to the National Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry.
Arrested for an unpre-
cedented third time last
Nov. 6 and held well past
the nine-month limit for
pre-trial incarceration, he

-

faces a possible 13-year
term.
His case has elicited an
outpouring of support, in-
cluding letters on his behalf
signed by 98 U.S. Senators
and sent to President
Reagan, Soviet Ambassador
Anatoly Dobrynin and Sec-
retary of State George
Shultz.
A mathematician by
profession, Begun has

long since been active in
the Jewish cultural and
emigration movements.
He has been waiting over
12 years for permission to
emigrate to Israel.
In a related development,
Inna Mizrukhina, wife of
prisoner of conscience Lev
Elbert, has stopped her
month-long hunger strike,
the National Conference on
Soviet Jewry reported.

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She was persuaded to dis
continue her life
threatening fast by he r
brother, Aleksandr Miz
rukhin, who telephoned he r
from Denver. He is in th e
United States under th e
sponsorship of the Nationa 1
Jewish Community Rela
tions Advisory Council to
gain support for Elbert.
Ms. Mizrukhina began
her strike in protest over
the Ukranian authorities'
handling of her husband's
case, particularly the
trumped-up drug charges
against him, the NCSJ re-
ported. Authorities have
charged that Elbert was
discovered to have received
narcotics in a coat that was
smuggled in to him in
prison.

Mizrukhina, in critical
condition and unable to
walk, recently described
her hunger strike as "the
only weapon I have left."
She is now in Moscow for
a meeting with the chief
procurator's office.
In Washington, D.C.,
Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman
(N.Y.-22nd District), follow-
ing the testimony of 12 wit-
nesses before the House
Subcommittee on Postal
Operations, stated that
"there is widespread, new
escalation in Soviet inter-
ception of international
mail — and Jewish groups
are most severely hit by the
blockade."
Rep. Gilman, whose in-
vestigation over the past six
months has yielded some
1,60.0 exhibits, said that
further hearings are needed
on the issue and that he
fears that the mail intercep-
tion may be the tip-off to a
"cold, new era in interna-
tional relations."
"We heard testimony that
proves personal letters are
being intercepted and that
return receipts are being
methodically signed by
Soviet agents," Gilman
said.
Among the exhibits
which Congressman
Gilman cited were:
• A total of 150 certifica-
tions of delivery with seven
sets of signatures, which
lead investigators to believe
that mail to Soviet prison
camp inmates is being in-
tercepted, tampered with,

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House Debates
Soviet Jewry

Following the shooting
down of Korean Air Lines
flight 7 by Soviet fighter
aircraft, the U.S. House of
Representatives sponsored
a special analysis of the
Soviet situation. Fourteen
pages of testimony on the
problems of Soviet Jewry
were included in a special
section of the Congressional
Record on Oct. 4.
Michigan Rep. Sander
Levin co-sponsored the spe-
cial order, which appears on
pages H7941-H7954.
In his own testimony,
Levin equated the KAL 7
incident with the Soviets'
callous treatment of its
Jewish population.

certified as delivered and
then returned to senderS- in
the United States and 12
other countries;
• A signed certification of
delivery to a prison camp
inmate, who died three
years before the Soviets
claimed he received the
mail;
• Over 1,000 exhibits that
show Soviets are evading
indemnity payments by
using false statements on
why parcels and letters are
not delivered to a number of
ethnic groups in the Soviet
Union;
• The banning of such
children's classics as "The

Ugly Duckling," "Sleeping
Beauty," and "Pinocchio,"
and others, simply because
they are printed in Hebrew;
and
• Surcharges by the
Soviets are extremely high
for intercepted and return
packages with the United
States Postal Service acting
as "tax collector" for the
exorbitant Soviet charges.

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